Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Doula Anthropologists

While to some (i.e., my family) it may not seem obvious that doula work and the study of anthropology go hand-in-hand, there are actually quite a few doula anthropologists out there in the world! 

Some are doulas who have studied anthropology in the past, some are now midwives, some are anthropologists who used to be doulas, and so on in many combinations of identity. 
You know that website, This is What a Doula Looks Like? This is like my own mini version of "this is what an Anthro Doula looks like!"

From a quick, cursory search, I have found on the internet the following fellow "anthro doulas":
Melissa Cheyney, PhD, CPM, LDM, professor of medical anth

Michelle L’Esperance, Certified Professional Midwife and Doula, anth alum
Nancy Madr, postpartum doula, MA medical Anth
Brandy Segin, Birth doula and childbirth educator, BA Anth
Beth Rees, postpartum doula, anth alum
Tara Kenny, CPM, CLC, doula, BA Anth
Risa, doula, Anth doctoral student
Vanessa Pisias, PPD and CBE, BA Anth
Megan Davidson, PhD Anthropology, Doula, CLC, PPD

And probably a lot of YOU, my readers! If you are an Anthro Doula yourself, please introduce yourself in the comments!
Even though this photo is used a lot for "doula," I identify with it anthropologically because it evokes "traditions" and "culture" imagery in my mind.
(If your name is on this list and you would like it removed, please let me know. These are all just links via a google search)


  1. I just stumbled upon your blog today and am immediatly adding it to my bookmarks... and sharing on Facebook... and will be pouring over every inch of it over the next few days. I'm a doula with an anthropology degree, but I only aspire to call myself an anthro-doula. Since I've discovered doula work I haven't made much time/space to integrate the two. Perhaps some of you will rub off on me as I follow your blog. I'm (website will go live in a week or two... so excited!) Thanks for inviting me to say hi!

  2. My original post didn't work for some reason. I am an aspiring anthropologist and doula in training. My main research has been traditional birthing methods in indigenous parts of Mexico and resistance to the WHOs attempted integrations of western medicine. I loved that I found your blog a few months ago, and now I am stoked at your attempts to build community around it!

  3. @Door Step Doula - I'm so excited that you're so excited! Thank you for your nice comment. I know you'll be a great Anthro Doula! How did you come to find my blog, out of curiosity?

    @Jenna - Hi! Your research sounds fascinating! Do YOU have a blog? I'd love to read about what you've found! Want to guest-post??

    - Emily

  4. Hi Emily,

    Yep, I have a blog, about a little bit of everything.

    I would love to guest post!

  5. Does it count if I am doing some anthro work and have an anthro professor on my dissertation committee? I am a doula in computer science (I wonder how many of us there are?) but am thrilled by anthropology research! :-)

  6. I have a bachelors in bio anthropology and *really* want to go back for my masters in medical anthropology and public health. I am also a midwife! Love your blog!

  7. Hi Happy Belly Midwife - I love that you're a midwife who wants to study med anth and public health! :) Thanks for visiting my blog!

  8. I also have a B.S. in Anthropology and am currently working on my masters in midwifery, going into my second of three years. It would be interesting to interview a bunch of the anthropology birth workers! :)

  9. I'm a bit late to this party, but I'm a newly-graduated anthropologist interested in getting into the maternal health/childbirth area - I'm not a doula, but it's something I'm keeping in mind as a possibility (I also have a computer science background - that was my first degree. I wouldn't have thought it was a common combo :p).

  10. I have a MSc in Anthropology, very general. Am thinking of pursuing a PhD at some point. Am doing the postpartum doula training at the moment, so hopefully will work as a postpartum doula soon. Am part of organization in my native Latvia to support natural birth and home birth. Have just started a blog about my experience of moving to San Francisco and becoming a doula. It is very new. Was glad to read your blog. It does not surprise me that there are so many doulas with anthropology background, but was very happy to find a blog combining these two.

  11. I have a BA in Anthropology and minor/certificate in Latin American Studies and I studied women's health, childbirth, and reproductive rights in Peru, Honduras, and Costa Rica. I am also a doula and childbirth educator with my business Currently, I'm enrolled in an accelerated second degree BSN program and hope to eventually pursue an MSN in Nurse Midwifery. Enjoy your blog!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...